Focusing on the Present and Future of Technology and Smart Farming, BKT’s Global Trends series works with experts and special guests to get to grips with 'AgTech' methods for today and tomorrow.
AgTech Looks Towards Data, Digitalisation and New Skills to be Uncovered in Agricultural Network
The first episode of Global Trends, Agricultural Technology: Between the Present and the Future of Agriculture is now available on BKT’s Digital Network. A range of ideas was discussed, including agricultural mechanisation as part of the digital and technological revolution.
Ömer Kuloğlu, producer and presenter of the Turkish magazine Traktörmetre, as well as a well-known presenter and YouTuber, spoke on the subject. According to the guest, saving on consumption, efficiency and ease of use are the three features most sought-after by modern farmers when buying a new tractor or new machinery. It is important that the tractors of the future, with the help of new technologies and functions, therefore meet these needs.
"As far as Turkey is concerned, there is a lot of interest from users in technological machinery, especially from young generations of farmers, who are very sensitive to these new trends," Kuloğlu explained during the episode. "Unfortunately, the costs of the latest generation tractors are currently and often prohibitive. So, the hope is that new technologies will become progressively more accessible in the future."
Another element in the episode was Smart Farming. The new changes in the industry will require increasingly well-prepared professionals with precise, varied skills, favouring a diversified workforce, something which Amy Wu, founder of From Farmers to Incubators, the Made in USA platform believes will relate to innovative women in AgTech.
According to Wu, the agriculture of the future will create new opportunities especially for women, who are increasingly deciding to study and work in STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). "In an industry that is facing decisive changes and serious threats – especially regarding climate change, there is a need for new talents and skills, Wu explains. “The diversification of the workforce is a real opportunity for agriculture."
Are Farmers Ready to Embrace an Agricultural Revolution
But how willing are today's farmers to embrace this agricultural revolution? Is there a technological transition within the industry? It depends on many factors, explains David Rose, Associate Professor of Agricultural Innovation and Extension and head of the "Change in Agriculture" Research Group at the University of Reading in Great Britain.
The cost of technologies, the local presence of infrastructure needed to adopt these technologies, the preparation and training of farmers themselves or even their needs are all elements that may help or hinder the development of AgTech.
"To encourage the adoption of a specific technology in agriculture, the intervention or support of institutions and politics is increasingly fundamental, Rose explains. "For example through economic incentives, the development of adequate infrastructure, and the formulation of new policy measures to facilitate this transition. Being able to count on fruitful collaboration between the public and private sectors is essential."
Simon Scarabel, Technical Sales Manager at Free Green Nature expects to see automated machines and robots operating in the field to support farmers. "One of the main objectives of AgTech is to make the agricultural industry more sustainable, significantly reducing its impact by minimising emissions. Robots are and will be decisive tools to achieve this goal, also optimising the work in the field, saving time and resources for farmers."
After a successful debut, viewers can expect to see a lively discussion for the subsequent seven episodes getting to the heart of AgTech, as well as other important issues within the agricultural sector.